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Drulović, others partake in humanitarian match

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Drulović gets ready to release a white pigeon; photo: blic.rsDrulović gets ready to release a white pigeon; photo: blic.rsCurrent national team manager Ljubinko Drulović and four retired Macedonian footballers participated in a humanitarian match on Tuesday.

Ljubinko Drulović and retired Macedonian footballers Sasha Ciric, Dragan Mutibarić, Panche Kjumbev and Blagoja Kuleski were in Niš, Serbia on Tuesday for a good cause. They participated in a humanitarian match that promoted peace in the Balkans and collected food for needy families in Niš.

Those five along with other footballers from the region, singers and actors took part in the match. Everyone who attended was asked to bring food which was then packaged and given to needy families in the city. According to the organizer of the event, several hundred pounds of food was collected, an amount they say will help 80 vulnerable families.

Speaking to blic.rs, Drulović said, "I'm always happy to respond to humanitarian causes. I have more obligations now as the manager of Macedonia, but it's my pleasure to be here and to show as a group that we can co-exist as a region. Today there were some great footballing names present such as Perica Ognjenović who was a teammate of mine on the national team. Then you also had Ciric who was a long-time professional with Nürnberg and now director of the Macedonian national team. Also Mutibarić who was a fantastic Macedonian goalkeeper. There is no doubt we all enjoyed being here."

Based on that comment, it looks like Sasha Ciric (who was the director of the U21 national team) has been promoted to serve in that role for the senior squad. Unless blic.rs misquoted Drulović and left out the U21 part, then it appears Ciric will replace Ilija Najdoski who resigned from the director post.

All of the participants; photo: blic.rsAll of the participants; photo: blic.rs

Ciric is well known here as he was an accomplished player who was a club legend at German club Nürnberg. As for the other three retired Macedonian footballers there, Mutibarić is a Vardar icon, Kjumbev is best known for his time in Pobeda and Legia Warszawa, while Kuleski is a former player of Radnički Niš, the local club in that city. Blagoja Kuleski now lives in Australia, but he came to Macedonia last week with his son Nicola Kuleski. Nicola was invited to the U21 training camp, so his father Blagoja accompanied him for the trip. Since he was here, he made the trip with the others to go to Niš and help out in the humanitarian match.

Before the game, Drulović and the four aforementioned players in the above paragraph released white pigeons in the air, and held a banner that read "For Peace in the Balkans."

To read the complete story from blic.rs and view a photo gallery, click here.

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